The opening of Burning Cold – a new novel of mine

I am presently writing chapter five of Burning Cold, but I thought I would post the first part of chapter one. 🙂

—–

Chapter One

 

I never dream. Any dream. I don’t have illusions in the night, and I don’t waste my time thinking about what might be in the future.

My grandmother says that you should always plan ahead, but my grandfather has always told me that it is the here and the now that matters. Today you could help someone. Tomorrow it will be too late for anything.

I don’t know if I’m ready for the now, but I feel that I will never be ready for the future.

###

Screams filled the air. I tried to turn, but didn’t move. Just my head; that’s all I could manage. But even then, all I saw was the walls of a basket.

I was in a basket. A weaved box? No. It was a large basket.

It was dark, but I could see the glow of fire. At least fire meant warmth, and not cold. I hate the cold.

A girl ran towards me, looming above my sight and the basket in which I was prisoner, a giantess figure made fearsome by the glow of the fires that lit up the night sky.

I heard a baby cry. It came from beside me. No. Above me? Below, perhaps? I couldn’t find the baby.

The girl reached down, tears of fear staining her face. “Koresh!” She cried.

The pillow was wet. Had grandfather dumped another bucket of water on my head to make sure I was awake in time for work?

My head dropped to the side and I stared out the loft window. The sky was still filled with stars, and the sun had not yet looked with its bright face over the horizon.

I sat up, breathing slowly, and ran my hands through my hair. It was wet. I felt my face. Hot.

Did I have fever? My hands were shaking.

Maybe I did.

I blinked. Wait.

I dreamed. But what had I dreamed?

With a sigh I dropped back onto my wet pillow. Making a disgusted sound I flipped it over to the dry side. I rolled over onto my stomach and tucked my pillow under my chest. First time I dream since I can remember and I can’t remember the dream? That’s just great.

But someone said my name. And it hadn’t been cold there. I knew that. So. They knew me. And it wasn’t here, in Cree, in the mountains.

I tried to settle back in. I was going to have a long day of work here in a few hours. I needed my rest.

Who would know me? I’ve never been anywhere but here, with grandfather and grandmother. I—no… go to sleep, you idiot.

I rolled back over and dropped my head onto the pillow.

Sleep.

Sleep.

Sleep.

“Oh blast.” I sat up and swung my legs off the side of the bed. I wasn’t ever going to get back to sleep tonight.

 

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